As people begin to prepare for a Thanksgiving holiday spent with friends and families, students at HWS are hoping to encourage others to take advantage of the time spent at home to create opportunities for students in the Geneva City School District.
Students, faculty, staff and community members are asked to donate good condition musical instruments. Through the Music Boosters of Geneva, the instruments will be delivered to students attending Geneva schools and in school music programs. Students may also drop off gently used SAT preparation books.
“I think that engagement and attention to local community needs–especially those of students–is absolutely central to our role as college students. The book and instrument drive is a vital initiative because it focuses on immediate support for local learners,” says Ryan Mullaney ’16, who leads the HWS Coalition for Educational Equality.
Organizers note Thanksgiving break is a convenient time for students to gather instruments and SAT books from their homes while they are there, and maybe even ask friends, relatives or neighbors if they have anything to donate as well. All types of instruments will be accepted; the district anticipates they will be needed in the coming year.
“At present, we have enough instruments to provide for all students who desire to play. This is because of the instrument drives and grants of the past several years,” says Ken Foster, band director at North Street Elementary School. “However, there will be a shortage again in 2014 – 2015 if we do not acquire more instruments. More than half of the students in the band program use instruments provided by the district.”
According to Robin Cambareri, department chair, they are especially in need of clarinets, alto saxaphones, flutes, trombones, trumpets, bass clarinets, tenor sax, French horns and baritones.
A poet herself, Aminata Dansoko ’15 believes it’s important to support music and arts education in schools, an area she says is often the first to lose financing when schools are faced with tight budgets.
“I love music and the arts; it’s a big part of us,” says Dansoko. “It allows us to express ourselves in ways we don’t in everyday life. Music motivates students to be themselves, explore their inner world and their role in society.”
SAT preparation books are included in this initiative because they can be costly, yet even editions of a year or two old are helpful in preparing for the test.
“A lot of students I spoke with at the high school didn’t have the means to practice because they didn’t have access to the prep books. Donating these is a great way for HWS students to show their support for Geneva students because it gives them the means and opportunity to succeed,” says Dansoko.
Neill Jaico ’15 echoes this sentiment, saying, “Having new instruments or SAT books will help the Geneva students become involved in extracurricular activities or improve themselves to become outstanding candidates when it is their turn to look for colleges and end up in the same spots that we are in now.”
Instruments can be dropped off at the HWS Conferences and Events Office, 678 S. Main St. The effort is part of the Geneva 2020 initiative.